Sophie Bolich

East Side Pub & Grill Offers An Always Changing Menu

The new restaurant opened in July on Prospect Avenue, but you'll need to go online to find the hours or daily menu.

By - Nov 30th, 2023 01:51 pm
Site of East Side Pub & Grill, 2178 N. Prospect Ave. Photo taken September 2022 by Sophie Bolich.

Site of East Side Pub & Grill, 2178 N. Prospect Ave. Photo taken September 2022 by Sophie Bolich.

When East Side Pub & Grill began preparations to open on N. Prospect Avenue last year, the restaurant — and its eye-popping new paint job — stood out clearly among the other buildings on the street, capturing the attention and curiosity of passersby.

But owners Kyrie Smith and his aunt, Wanda Smith, have kept a low profile since then. So much so, that the restaurant’s mid-summer opening went largely unnoticed by many East Side diners.

Nevertheless, the restaurant, which also offers alcohol and hookah, has been in operation for several months, serving up a rotating menu of chicken, seafood, soul food and more.

The new restaurant opened in the former Seoul Korean Restaurant space, 2178 N. Prospect Ave., between East Side Laundromat and Ace Hardware. Throughout 2022 and early 2023, the Smiths completely gutted and rebuilt the interior of the building, putting in a new kitchen, service counter and seating area. The remodel is still in progress; the final pieces are slowly coming together as the restaurant works to find its footing.

The owners also tapped Milwaukee muralist Fred Kaems, who went to work on the dining room’s stucco walls and ceiling, painting a sprawling, vibrant depiction of the city. If you visit, be sure to look up and spot Rockwell Automation‘s “Polish Moon” against a sky blue background.

The dining room also features corner booth seating and a handful of bar stools, though the restaurant often shifts to takeout-only, so dine-in service isn’t guaranteed.

The menu changes often, but maintains a core group of consistent items, the restaurant’s chef confirmed. On a given day, guests can expect chicken wings, shrimp, pasta, tacos, sandwiches and burgers. The restaurant also offers Friday fish fry and soul food Sunday specials including chicken, pork chops, catfish, pot roast, meat loaf, mac and cheese, greens and more.

An unexpected standout is the plastic cups of Kool-Aid, billed as the best in the city. The drink — blue or purple, your choice — is a special blend developed through extensive trial and error. I’m no aficionado, but my blue Kool-Aid was sweet, a little sour and perfectly refreshing. It triggered flashbacks to my childhood, and paired well with a serving of crispy chicken wings doused in Frank’s RedHot sauce and a pile of peppery, well-seasoned fries.

If Kool-Aid isn’t cutting it, beer, wine and mixed drinks are also available from the bar during dine-in service.

East Side Pub & Grill does not display a permanent menu. Rather, menu items are posted to the restaurant’s Instagram story throughout the day.

The same is true for hours of operation, though the restaurant is typically open for dinner and late into the night.

To confirm hours and menu items, the restaurant can be reached directly by phone at (414) 316-9191.

A different owner, Uniqua Glaude, initially made plans to open the restaurant in 2022, but that never came to fruition. Several months later, Wanda Smith applied to open a restaurant of the same name at the address.

Wanda did not respond to multiple requests for comment.


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Categories: Food & Drink

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